Women Prefer Cooperative Arrangements

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 30 2013 2:23 PM

Women Prefer Cooperative Arrangements

178346526
Doubles, anyone?

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Some interesting research from Peter Kuhn and Marie-Claire Villeval indicates that given a choice between a scenario in which pay is linked to individual performance measures and one in which it's linked to team performance measures, women are more likely than men to prefer the team approach.

I'm not 100 percent sold that this experiment tells us a ton about the real world (we should always be suspicious of stereotype-confirming contrived statements), but it's at least suggestive, and if we entertain the hypothesis that it's true for a minute you can see some of the full implications of things like the gender pay-gap phenomenon. You can look at women and men and control for experience and hours worked and industry sector and whatever else you like. What you can't do is run a statistical control for the fact that men have held a near monopoly on the top levels of decision-making at nearly every single significant business and political enterprise in the world for the vast majority of its existence.

Advertisement

If men and women prefer different kinds of performance measurements and reward structures, but men get to design all the performance measurements and reward structures, then naturally male leaders will design systems that show that men on average outperform women. Then—ta da!—you end up with another way in which meritocracy merely re-inscribes inequality.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.